Pre-Demolition Vapor Intrusion Assessment in Western Ohio


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the class of carbon-based liquids that evaporate readily. VOCs have been used as fuels, solvent cleaners, and manufacturing feedstock for over a century. The historic use and disposal of VOCs was casual at best, and determining what was used and where it was released is a crucial, but difficult part of any property transaction of industrial property. A large building complex in western Ohio had been occupied by a number of manufacturers for a century or more, but the available records on chemical use were from the 1980s and later. VOCs were detected in regional groundwater, but the exact source beneath the suspected building was unknown.


Cox-Colvin proposed real time analysis of soil gas from beneath the building’s floor in a grid configuration prior to demolition, which would be faster and less costly than sampling and analyzing soil after demolition. In three days, two people using hand-held equipment, installed 144 of Cox-Colvin’s patented Vapor Pins™, took readings, and collected several soil-gas samples for laboratory confirmation. The field and laboratory results indicated that VOC contamination was present below screening levels, and that the building could be demolished and the site reoccupied with acceptable risk from VOCs.